[UPDATE: THIS MATCH HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO UNSAFE PITCH CONDITIONS PER JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ]
Thursday evening brings the 7th edition of the Dynamo Charities Cup, an annual international friendly with proceeds benefiting the work of Dynamo Charities. This year's edition brings second-place English Premier League finishers, Manchester City, less than a week after their season-ending 2-0 victory over Sunderland. This is the 3rd consecutive Charity Cup opponent hailing from the EPL.
Here are the players that are available for the friendly:
The match at BBVA Compass Stadium will be the second and final match of City's brief week-long tour in North America and comes less than 24 hours after playing Toronto FC. With the upcoming Copa America scheduled to kickoff on June 11th, City head coach Manuel Pellegrini has had to make compromises to his roster. Argentinians Pablo Zabaleta and Martin Dimichelis have been left off the friendly rosters while Sergio Aguero will make an appearance in Toronto but not Houston. City's Brazilian players, Fernandinho and Fernando, will sit out the match against Toronto FC but will feature in the Charity Cup match on Thursday.
Ivory Coast's Yaya Toure will travel with the team amidst a complicated contract situation that could see him leave the club for Inter Milan in the summer. Pellegrini has brought Toure along this week's tour to discuss his contractual situation further.
Joe Hart is likely to play in both matches in what will be a roster primarily made of senior players with a handful of youth hopefuls. Considering this will be the team's third match in a week (and second in less than a day), it would not be surprising to see wholesale substitutions at halftime and throughout the match, offering fans glimpses of the EPL stars.
Houston is likely to do the same, with a MLS match against NYCFC just two days away. This will be a great opportunity for Owen Coyle to see much of the talent on the bench that struggles to play in a crowded lineup. Alex Lopez, after a run of great performances, is likely to see significant playing time as is Chandler Hoffman, who has found it difficult to see minutes with a surging Will Bruin and Giles Barnes putting the ball away. This also makes a good chance to finally see goalkeeper Joe Willis in action for the Dynamo. Most of all, the recent foreign signings could make a big impact, including Leonel Miranda, Mauro Manotas, and Alex (acquired from Chicago Fire).
The Dynamo come into this Charity match with a 3-3-0 record, with their most recent win back in 2013 against Stoke City. That remains their only victory over English opponents which is sure to motivate them when they play Manchester City, who finished second overall in the English Premier League this season with a 24-7-7 record just behind Chelsea.
The 7th Dynamo Charities Cup will kick off at 7:30PM on Thursday, May 28th. The match will be broadcast on Houston Dynamo's Live stream site and tickets are available at HoustonDynamo.com. This game is expected to sell out so act fast to secure your seats. Also, a quick reminder that METRORail service in front of BBVA Compass Stadium is operational. Check out our ride guide to learn more.
The next MLS match for the Houston Dynamo will be Saturday, May 30th at Yankee Stadium as they take on New York City FC. That match will also have a special group of VIP guests - none other than the Manchester City roster, making a final stop before flying home to England.